Mediterrania Capital Partners exits Groupe Cofina, the leading mesofinance and transactional financial services institution in West and Central Africa.
Mediterrania Capital Partners, a Private Equity firm focused on growth investments for SMEs and mid-cap companies in North Africa and Sub-Saharan countries, announces the sale of its stake in Groupe Cofina, the leading mesofinance and transactional financial services institution in West and Central Africa, to the Private Equity group Development Partners International (DPI).
Based in Abidjan, Groupe Cofina was founded by Jean-Luc Konan in 2014 with the stated mission of helping entrepreneurs and SMEs obtain medium- or long-term financing. Nowadays the group provides a wide range of banking products, including national and international cash transfers as well as financing solutions and related advisory services to its more than 254,000 customers. With 60% of Cofina’s credit client base being first-time borrowers, the group is helping to considerably reduce inequality and promote economic growth on the continent. Groupe Cofina operates in eight countries in Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Gabon, Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Burkina Faso and Togo, and it employs more than 1,400 people (half of whom are female).
In April 2018, Mediterrania Capital Partners entered Cofina’s equity by acquiring a significant minority stake. The investment, aimed at supporting Cofina’s ambitious geographic and products expansion plans, helped to significantly broaden the group’s portfolio and its customer reach.
During Mediterrania Capital Partners’ tenure, Cofina implemented a growth strategy focused on developing financing solutions to support SMEs in their development and engaging in credit granting and cash point services. The group also launched mobile and web-based banking applications to facilitate branchless transactions, enabling customers to perform financial transactions from their mobile phones and computers.
As a result of the group’s product and geographic expansion, Cofina’s Net Banking Income rose to €40 million in 2021.
As well as delivering significant business growth and expanding the group’s presence in the region, under Mediterrania Capital Partners’ partial ownership, Cofina opened its Burkina Faso and Togo subsidiaries and set up an office in Paris to fulfil the demand of the African diaspora in the French capital.
During the same period, Cofina founded “Fin’ELLE”, a microfinance branch dedicated to empowering female entrepreneurs and launched several initiatives to support start-up companies and young entrepreneurs. With Mediterrania’s support and guidance, Cofina also implemented a wide range of ESG initiatives focused on promoting social inclusion to help empower communities and grow economies.
One of the pillars of Cofina’s Corporate Social Responsibility consists of providing community mentoring with the aim ofsharing learning with traditionally socially excluded households. The group is also an active participant in many charity projects and regularly donatesfood and suppliesto schools and clothes to orphanages, gives funding for water pumps to supply clean water to hospitals, provides rural entrepreneurs with agricultural equipment, etc.
Hatim Ben Ahmed, Managing Partner at Mediterrania Capital Partners, said: “When we invested in Cofina in 2018, we saw the tremendous opportunity that the company represented, not only from a financial point of view but also as a key promoter of social inclusion in Africa. Four years later, all our expectations and predictions have been exceeded and we are proud of Cofina’s transformation into a robust company with a long-term vision and sustainable growth.”
Pacôme Zahabi, Senior Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Mediterrania Capital Partners, said: “Working closely with Cofina’s management, we strengthened the company’s governance, upgraded its systems and established a discipline of decision-making processes at all levels in the organisation while enhancing the company’s focus on social and environmental matters.”
Jean Luc Konan, Groupe Cofina’s Founder and CEO, said: “The support of Mediterrania Capital Partners has been key in transforming Cofina into a stronger company with a clear vision and the right foundationsto bring itto the next level. We are very pleased with Mediterrania Capital Partners’ active involvement in Cofina and are welcoming the new investors that will surely help us take our company even further.”
This transaction marks the second divestment of Mediterrania Capital Partners’ MC III fund, after TGCC’s IPO was executed in December 2021. Hatim Ben Ahmed, Managing Partner at Mediterrania Capital Partners, has been in charge of the transaction.
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Legal advisor: KZ and Partners